tv American History TV visits Cedar Rapids Iowa CSPAN March 17, 2019 2:00pm-3:35pm EDT
there was no difference. the administrations, their desire was to win politically. mastic and political reasons. everything else was secondary. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span q&a. c-span cities tour is exploring the american story. this weekend, we visit cedar rapids, iowa's second largest city. it is located in east central iowa. with the help of our media cable partners, over the next 90 minutes, we will learn about the history of the city, including a visit to grant wood arts studio. fromis is where he lived 1930 to 1935. this is where american gothic was painted. people will not know the artist or the title, but it is an
iconic piece. it is probably one of the most iconic pieces of american art to date. >> later, we will visit the mother mosque of america. >> the significance is that it is the first house of worship that the muslims built in north america. we are part of america. this is the proof. >> we begin our special look at cedar rapids on a tour with historian mark stauffer hunter. >> the spirit of the original people who settled cedar rapids still lives on today. the innovation, the spirit, the can-do attitude, the optimism. we were always striving to make cedar rapids. >> we took a driving tour of the city. thearched over hunter from -- mark stauffer hunter from the hitters and are, thank you for showing us around cedar rapids. >> i am happy to do this.
>> you are an expert on historic preservation in town. you are also an expert on the hidden history of cedar rapids. all things weird and wonderful. >> i absolutely love the weird and wonderful. the nice layers of history that are underneath the basic facts about cedar rapids. it's buildings and people and stories. >> we are going to see some of that as we drive around. what are some of the places you're going to take us? to there going to go downtown cedar rapids area. we are going to take a look at what is the largest serial mill in america. czechll look at the village. we are about to go out to the lincoln highway. the old lincoln highway, which goes from new york to california. >> what would this have looked like back in the early days of cedar rapids? >> notice how we are on top of
the hill? this would be a collection of large victorian mansions just like you would see in mississippi river towns. it is hard to picture that now. you would have seen people living in large houses on this hill that we are going down right now. it was a favorite sledding hill for kids. >> it is very snowy. we could go sledding now. >> i am very tempted to do that. we would go right down 2nd avenue. that would be in keeping with what people actually did on the street. >> you cannot come to iowa in the middle of winter and not address that it is very cold here. >> it is very cold. we have to have a lot of endurance. we are supercold. we get wind chills as cold as 60 below zero. in the summer time, we get heat indexes of up to 120 degrees. >> you are a hearty people. that came into play during the flood of 2008. >> right now, we are driving
down the street just under 11 years ago, this car would be engulfed in water. it went over the railings. wasentire downtown area covered by the flood of 2008. we have never had such a major natural disaster. it is one of the top 10 natural disasters in history -- in that night states -- in the night states history. it took the better part of six years to get a lot of the flood damage properties removed. seen this as a reason to build cedar rapids bigger before. -- bigger than before. >> we are outside of the grant would studio. who was grant would and why is the building so important? >> grant wood is the artist
behind the second was stricken as bull painting in the world behind the mona lisa. the american gothic painting. we'll know it as the man standing with the pitchfork. he has the baldhead and the glasses. there is a woman standing next to him. a great underlying story behind it. those people are cedar rapids people. >> really? artist'sn is the dentist. because is on all of us when i started studying local history, i used to talk to his former patient back in the 1990's. they said he was the funniest guy they ever knew. when you look at him in the painting, he was really grumpy looking. that is the joke of the artist. he is actually a funny guy. put his dentist in the painting. the woman is his sister. she said she was ok with it.
he knew -- she knew that he was not meaning to depict her as an older woman. american gothic was painted in this carriage house, which is owned by our museum of art. he lived upstairs in the loft. was painted in the hay loft. past theing to go history center. it did start out as a house for the two families that are synonymous with cedar rapids history. the douglas is. es. they started the big quaker oats plant. >> this is an important part of my morning. can we go check it out? >> a beautiful view of the quaker oats factory. it started along the train tracks in 1873 by the douglas family. when i was a kid, kids could
take tours. it was really fun to see the oatmeal being made. all the cap'n crunch in the world is made right here. >> is it true that sometimes the air smells like crunch barry? >> yes. i am hoping you going to smell crunch barry. big economic driver of the city? >> a huge economic driver. oats was a major crop in this area. this is an old bohemian school on the right. we were a town of mostly german, scottish, irish immigrants. the sinclair's came here. they wanted to build the largest pork and beef processing plant. they started it in this neighborhood. the packinghouses stink. they needed so many workers that people from the region of bohemia, which is now the czech republic, came here by the hundreds.
we are completely welcoming to that group. >> what year was this? thehe 1870's was when diversity of cedar rapids changed overnight. the existing population fully welcomed the bohemian population. they populated this area around the job source. they all came to work. they had their own mini downtown here. kind of like other cities have little italy's or little china. we had little bohemia. as it became a more industrial area, the folks of the neighborhood shifted more towards the west side. this is a formal book -- a former bohemian movie theater. they had bohemian language films. this is the oldest restaurant and bar in cedar rapids. it is not changed at all since 1934 -- it has not changed at all since 1934.
bohemians, that opened up the door for all other ethnic groups to come to cedar rapids. they were followed by the influx of russian, italian, greek, we had an early middle eastern and muslim population come here in the 1890's. the different backgrounds of faith were welcome as well. very early, we had a reputation of being a very diverse community. this is why the national -- czeche such a focus of ethnic history. village.zech 1870'srenovated in the -- in the 1970's. is more early to mid 20th century architecture. this continued the pattern of bohemian commercial neighborhood
that got its start in the east side of the river. we are passing through the neighborhood. >> the wright brothers lived here? >> the wright brothers lived in cedar rapids. they traveled with their father. one time they had a home where the library parking lot is. their father was assigned to cedar rapids for three years. they lived in this neighborhood in downtown cedar rapids. they lived in three different homes. they have documented where those places were. they went to a home -- they went to a school with the public library is now. wrote when they were children, their father brought home a flying toy and then inspired them to start studying flying. that was the inspiration for flight. that happened in cedar rapids. that is one of the earliest sites where the wright brothers lived. >> and former first lady may
mean eisenhower -- maybe eisenhower. --she was born in she left before she was a year old. then she went on to live 10 years here in cedar rapids, iowa. she was here because her father was working as a buyer for the sinclair packet house, which was the focus of the new bohemian neighborhood. she spent the first 10 or 11 years of her life in cedar rapids. one of the two homes she lived in is still standing. it is one of the great secret. s. her home is on the right. it is the second home on the right. home ofthe childhood mamie eisenhower. >> why do you think it is important for people to know about the midwest's history and about iowa in cedar rapids?
>> the midwest and cedar rapids is at the crossroads of the entire national development movement. we established reverent connections to the east and west coast. we have historic connections to major developments around the night states. all the industry people in stories we have developed here have relevant links to the rest of the united states. >> i am outside the grant wood studio where c-span is learning about the city's history. it was here where he completed american gothic. next, we take you inside to learn how the midwest influenced his art. t woods is the gran studio where american gothic was painted. it is the piece that everybody knows. a lot of times, people will not know the artist with the title, but it is an iconic piece.
it is probably the most iconic piece of american art. he was born outside of an mo set, iowa. moved tohere until he iowa city in 1935. that is just 30 miles away. he was artistic from a young age. we have early sketches dating from 1906, possibly 1904. he was really artistic. his father was a quaker. he grew up in a relatively strict household. he went off to europe. he went to your four times during the 1920's to study because that is what artists did. your artistic education was not really complete until you went to europe. americaninting in an impressionist style. he could paint very quickly. during the mature phase of his career, he slowed down. he developed this hard edged
memorial linear style. that coincided with him coming back to his last trip to europe and realizing that the midwest was just as worthy of midwest artistic consideration as europe. he wanted to paint what he knew. he wanted to paint the people and landscapes that surrounded him. this studio allowed him to be a professional painter at a time where it would've been rare for someone in eastern iowa to have that profession. studiosion next to the longed to john b turner who wanted to turn into a mortuary. he hired grant wood to help with the transition. he happened to offer him the carriage house. he offered to allow him to move into the carriage house as a studio space and later as a resident. he later realized he could make this into a space where he could live year-round. turner was not charging him any
rent. that allowed him to leave his job as a teacher. he moved in here full-time and worked as an artist. that allowed him to become a professional artist at an age where that would've been difficult for him. this would have been the bedroom. there were mattresses under both of these alcoves with curtains you could pull aside and bring them out at night. this space right here functioned as a stage. hostedood theatricals a lot. this would have been the stage. the audience would be sitting back in the larger living area. he was also really handy. he pushed this part of the heritage house out and created another source of light for himself. he also created this space as a place to put his paintings. you can stack a bunch of canvases and boards and push it back into the wall.
it is out of sight and out of mind. you are not tripping over your art supplies all the time. here are some of the other paintings he did while working in the studio. this is woman with plans. a portrait of his mother from 1929. she is holding her plants. he was really inspired by northern renaissance painters he saw in germany. it was typical in the northern renaissance to paint a portrait of someone holding an attribute of their personality. american of the revolution is another fantastic one. this is a painting i really like because i think it shows his witty personality. when he was creating this large stained glass window for the veterans memorial, the building and a, he caught some flack from people because there was not a stained glass placed in the u.s. that could work on such a large scale. he went to germany to create this window.
he caught some flack because it was a war memorial window. we had just finished world war i with germany. people thought that was not patriotic. he hated this portrait of three daughters of the revolution. they are standing next to the painting of washington crossing the delaware. pointing out the hypocrisy. reverenight ride of paul is another one of his pieces. he looks to america's past and the fables that created our national consciousness. rocking horse riding towards the town. the ride of paul revere utilizes his sense of landscape and lollipop trees. the fantasy like cliffs in the background. it is fun to see those elements come together. this is his most iconic
painting, american gothic. forntered it in competition the art institute of chicago where it won a bronze medal. the museum bought it for $300. this is one of the most iconic pieces of american art. and hishis dentist younger sister as models. she is alternatively described as being the farmer's wife. to thought she was too young be the wife. the -- to her wheneferring he says american gothic is the pointed window. this is something that is typical of european gothic architecture he would have seen a lot of. this struck him as being interesting that this unassuming white clapboard iowa farmhouse
would utilize the delicate tracery to pick it -- tracery typical of gothic. he fell in love with this building. he knew he wanted to utilize it in painting. that came out in american gothic. is mostly used for cathedrals and associated with religion and the sacred. it is interesting to see it juxtaposed with this midwestern couple. in the background, you can see a tall plant. that is another thing he would use in his paintings. specifically the portrait of his mother. this plant is alternatively tongues mother-in-law's or snake plant. it is very hearty. we have takeoffs from the original plan. they are impossible to kill. it is something he used in a lot of his paintings.
he reused a lot of his props. you can see her wearing this in another painting. it is really striking on nan. the apron is very typical of --a farm wives it is interesting he could ease them here. they were a midwestern market. american gothic is one of those once-in-a-lifetime paintings. if you look at his -- you can see the predecessors and what came after it fits him very naturally. it is not an outlier in his career. he did a lot of portraits of people in cedar rapids. he was interested in midwestern architecture. it fit perfectly into the
narrative he was building. american gothic, it is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. it was in the right place at the right time. it was in the show of the art institute of chicago. it was in the newspaper. people really had a response to it and fell in love with it. they were interested in the story and who the models were. they were interested in what it said about the midwest. all of america got really into it. it became this iconic piece. people had a lot of thoughts about it. whether it was these midwesterners were puritanical or these good frontier foundational values ever going to keep america together during this trying time. for people who do not look very emotional, it is a piece that engenders a lot of emotion. his career skyrocketed after american gothic. it was the iconic piece, which is why we are still talking about him. american gothic changed the trajectory of his career.
he started getting bigger commissions. he took a job at the university of iowa in iowa city. he worked for the wpa during the depression. the work progress the administration. he was super busy. . he traveled a lot he became the. face of -- he traveled a lot. he became the face of that art movement. he traveled the country and gave a lot of talks. he was busy putting forth the idea that the midwest was a viable place to create art. he started an artist colony in stone city for a couple of summers. he wanted to encourage artists to paint what they knew and encourage them. you do not have to go to the east coast. you do not have to go to europe to paint worthwhile things. ns thoughtth iowa about their state and the way outsiders thought about iowa changed. he is painting largely during the great depression.
you do not see any of that in his paintings. everyone is healthy. everyone is out working the land. the land -- there is no dust bowl. there is no drought. there is no flood. all of the corn is coming up perfectly. the houses are neat and beautiful. he was operating with some nostalgia for an iowa that did not exist. iowa had mixed reactions to things like american gothic. they kind of thought he was making fun of them or calling them puritanical. i think he shaped what people who are not from iowa thought of the state. people have this idea of the rolling hills and the farmlands and the windmills and the hearty iowa stock people. a lot of that comes from grant wood. he graded a myth of iowa that exists to this day. he died in 1942 of pancreatic
cancer. he started feeling bad in the middle of 1941. he took some trips. summer.lace during the he came back and was diagnosed and passed away in 1942. he was very young when he died. he could have had an entire rest of his career ahead of him. 20 or 30 years of working. he died before his time, which is said. he is still a big part of the arts community in iowa. he is the best-known iowa artist of any kind i can think of. he is most important as a symbol. he is a reminder that iowa is viable as an artistic subject. that our landscape and people are worthwhile. that painting them and spending your life recording what happens in iowa is a worthwhile thing to do. i am standing outside the national czech museum and library.
up next, we learned about their history and migration to cedar rapids. the library is set up to be the national repository of the slovak story. people ask us, why is it in cedar rapids, iowa. one answer is because the people who were involved in the community here in cedar rapids several decades ago were very motivated to have a museum here. there is a lot of czech and slovak people here. they were very motivated to get their treasures and show people. it opened in 2013, shortly after the building opened. it is 7500 square feet to tell the story of the people and also the story of freedom and identity through their lands.
their story is immigration to iowa. andre exploring immigration people who came to america for a different kind of freedom. and also, the ways they came here. something about their culture and their community. we have this replica of a steamship because a lot of people came on a ship in the 19th and early 20th century. the ship resonates with a lot of people. it's just about -- just about everybody in america has ancestors who came to this country from somewhere else. a lot of them came on these ships. cedar rapids, they were coming -- they were definitely on this type of steamer ship. we have some interesting stories from a woman in cedar rapids. she came over. in 1922 she was seven -- in 1922. she was seven.
they have interesting stories of playing on the ship. her father he came here to get a job with a certain organization in cedar rapids. they thought they would go back home, but they. -- but they never did. they stayed the rest of their lives in cedar rapids. of mess. kind your belongings would be everywhere. we tried to make it seem a little bit realistic for people when they want to come in here. we have the ship set up to be like a wet class would have been like or what some people called steerage. you have a lot of people without a lot of money who are crammed together at the bottom of the ship and lived in cramped quarters. there was first and second class. a lot of people in cedar rapids
have told us about their family stories. they had enough money to buy passage in second class. they had a dining room and access to the library and other parts of the ship. there were first-class passengers as well. some are coming here without a lot and hoping to get land and establish themselves. others had plenty of money to come here and purchase a business. it is all different economic walks of life. you wanted to come here for a better life. there was a revolution in europe in 1848, which ended serfdom. all of the people were allowed to leave the areas they had grown up in. there was a shortage of land. things have really changed. around 1850, you see a lot of migration from central and western europe into the united states. the checks and slovaks were no different. there were some trickling ends iowa. the main block was the 1870's
and 1880's. hs intoa lot of czec iowa. tended to be around the eastern part of the country. in cedar rapids, it was mostly czechs coming. there was a lot of land available for people who wanted to work hard. that continued up until the 1920's. it tapered off. after that, we had more political immigrants coming in the 30's and 40's. -- in the 1930's and 1940's. some of our most interesting stories of artifacts where items that were brought. -- were items that were brought. we have the type of clothing that a woman were on the ship over. a lot of layers of clothing. a lot of wool.
there could be a blanket to sleep in. of women wrapped up with their babies in their big shawls. you had to dress in a warm and practical bigd of in these shawls. so the glamorous clothing came later, but in order to the ship you needed to really dress in a warm and practical way often with differentur clothing items layered one on top of the other so they're not in your trunk that way. know people had limited trunk and storage space. you couldn't bring everything you owned with to make so you had some tough choices and what's interesting to us is chose tos people bring with them. the immigrants were mostly coming for better economic opportunities. they weren't necessarily oppressionigious or some other kind of oppression. they really just wanted land
or an opportunity to make more money so they were coming here for many different reasons, but some chose to bring religious artifacts with them. prayerave on display books and holy cards and things that were important to somebody. glasss a little baptismal font that a chose told girl bring with her. she brought that precious item with her. garnet jewelry that has passed from relative to relative. importante really important, it's their national gemstone. so we do have some beautiful that people did bring with them. they put in that their trunk or carried it on their person perhaps to keep it brought with them. some other items that people brought are the more practical things you might of like tea sets or vegetable slicer or special likepan if you feel there's a certain type of
food you want to prepare in this country and you want to you. those things with it's kind of people were bringing very practical things and sometimes, bringing surprising sentimental things or items with them. we're going to go now to our folk dresses. the carousel, this is the most popular part of this exhibit i would say, people whofor are of czech and slovak heritage. so we have in our collection about half of our collection is textiles and a lot of the are all these folk dress. kroj, we word is of these full costume or folk dress in the collection and we always on display,t 12 four from each region. we change them out about a year because ef-so many, we want to share them they're verynd distinctive and what's
interesting is this is folk dress that was worn on special occasions like funerals, church festivals,olk pilgrimages, it's not what you would wear for every day of these were actually brought by immigrants in 1900 and 1880 and 1920, brought in the trunk where you had to be very careful about what you're going to bring with you. some of these were actually brought with the immigrants. they were important enough to them that they wanted to bring this piece of their culture with them. and the folk dress varies from village to village. it'svy given village will have a totally different one from the neighboring village. of they have a lot really interesting techniques, embroidery all over. there's one passing right now that has gold wrapped wire, that's actual gold on sleeves.me that's from slovak. it lace or embroidery or the gold work, they all
are very distinctive and very beautiful. a lot of work goes into them and you can tell a lot about the person's economic status, their marital status by looking at it. unmarried women and girls could have their hair showing so they might wreath ora floral some ribbons in their hair, but once a woman was married, she was supposed to keep her hair, which is part of her beauty for just her family to see. verybride would have a distinctive head dress as would a groom, and then the married woman wears this red head scarf that you see a lot in eastern europe, that's the symbol of a married woman. we have a little section about the types of jobs people had because the czechs and slovaks who came to the united states were so many different types of work and economic levels. we know that slovaks tended to settle in the east in the early days where there were mines or industry and a lot times that was young men coming by themselves and
they would send money back home and bring the rest of go family or perhaps back home with their money. the czechs who came to iowa were mostly interested in beingg land and farmers but some people also came to work in the towns and cities working as a butcher in the meat market bakery or a opening a bank or being a businessman as we would say. interesting, famous czech american was the mayor of 1930s. in the that's a pretty high position for a czech american to reach. was inactually florida in 1933 with fdr and franklin roosevelt and there assassination attempt and he was hit and killed. in 1933.ally died other famous czech americans is secretary of state madeleine albright was born in what was then czechoslovakia and the
andeme court justice there are quite a few that we know of who came to this practice their trade. after 1920, immigration to the united states from all countries kind of took a little bit of a dive because starteded states imposing quotas on how many people could come from various countries and it was in iowa,ent here but political events going on in europe and the rest of century kind of influenced immigration in that 1938 when hitter was coming to power and coming inin, people who are not favor of nazis coming into states, and then again in 1948 when communism came into power in czechoslovakia, a wave of people left because they did to live in a communist country and in 1968 there was an uprising communism in czechoslovakia and when that
was smashed by the soviet troops pouring into czechoslovakia with their tanks some people chose at that time to leave, feeling like communism was not going wantedand they just a better life and a free nation. the historyt section of the faces of freedom exhibit and this tells the story of the century so this is mostly about the history of whoczechs and slovaks stayed behind in what became czechoslovakia, fighting for like toeedom so we say there were three struggles for freedom in the 20th century for the slovaks.d actually, before world war i there was no czechoslovakia. was actually some and they were part of the empire. when world our wan happened leader ina great czechoslovakia, here's a felte of him, and he like czechoslovakia should be one sovereign nation that was independent of the hungarian rule so after world war i and there was a lot of fighting with the
czechs joining up to fight the hungarians, even though that was technically their side in the war the defeated so we have a lot of new nation states forming and czechoslovakia was one of them so it actually was not born until 1918 so the country czechoslovakia, it 20th century country. he's the first president of czechoslovakia. and this statue we have represents this important person in history, but it's also the statue itself has a really interesting story. probably our most priced artifact and because it was created in the 1930s when freeoslovakia was a democracy and then when the munich agreement happened nazi germany came into czechoslovakia, it had thee hidden because nazis would not appreciate this symbol of freedom and democracy being on display and it could have been melted down to make useful ammunition or something for
the war so three times wasng world war ii this hidden and the way they hid it was burying it in the ground. and they had to move it times during the war to keep it from being discovered by the nazis, and overkite heavy, it's 800 pounds so it's quite a job for somebody to move it times.e it all those after world war ii ended, the statue could come to wast again because it again a free country. but then in 1948 when the communists came to power the statue was not of interest to the communists. they were not going to melt it down, but they tucked it away in the basement of one of the national museums. it didn't belong to the it kind of got stored there out of the way because the communists again were not interested in having statues of a person who represented freedom and democracy on display. original owner of the statue eventually discovered that it was indeed just in basement at one of the resumes and asked for permission to have his statue back and he was that and when the family came to the united
states in the 1970s they were allowed to bring it with them. been in the has united states since 1977. used to go in california i believe, but then in the year 2000 the family gave it here to us at the museum and we are thrilled to have him here. he is our favorite. >> after world war ii ended, were about three years of harmony and peace and czechoslovakia, but then in 1948 the communist party actually power.to coup, they won the election. so we have a car, this is in oury car we have collection, it's a 1964 czech-made automobile. and this is a car that was used by a communist general the 1960s. so this car was really a sinister vehicle. pull up in front of an apartment building or a neverand people were knowing who did they want? they would usually -- the
officials would come and take somebody away for questioning, maybe they would come back, maybe they wouldn't. it was a very scary and peopleous time that had. we have footage running calledhe automobile prague through the lens of the secret police because they were going around photographing people going about their daily lives. there are files and folders on people's movements and said.hey this is the communist government really keeping an eye on people. is thisar again symbol of this oppression and this constantly being aboutd and worried what you can and can't say or can and can't do. so this part of the exhibit is dealing with life under communism and it has some things in it that were hard american blue jeans, some things that people brought out with them. some people chose to leave in 1948 and this time they're leaving because they don't want to be under
communism. call a what we political -- he brought this type writer with him and the ateresting thing about typewriter is at that time in communist czechoslovakia, if you owned a typewriter, had to register it with the government just like you would have to register a gun. felt like ay typewriter was just as dangerous as a gun for somebody to have. we sometimes trip ourselves up here because we talk slovaks ass and two separate people which velvete after the revolution when communism fell, it was still czechoslovakia, but really within three years, they decided peaceably to split into their own countries so have a split so now, we have czech republic and slovak. there is no czechoslovakia anymore, it's hard to remember that, we have actually two distinct nations, czech republic and slovak. wit's important on several levels. it's a specific story of the
czech and slovak people, but happened, the communism, nazi oppression, that happened to a lot of in europepeoples and worldwide really, we'really in america, so blessed with our freedoms that we might take it for howted or not realize other people have had to struggle for it. you might say americans struggle for their freedom 1970s. that's been -- 1700s. a lot of the things we're telling about happened in the 20th century. it wasn't that long ago that was predominant in eastern europe and people had to struggle against them and gain their freedom. an important's story to tell. it's one of those things if you don't know about it, it might repeat itself. >> we're at the mother mosque of america in cedar c-span iowa, where is learning about the city's history. up next, we take you inside
to learn more about the islam as anof established region in the united states. >> the significance of this is it's symbolic of the freedom of religion. ofs the first house worship that the muslim in north america, so it's significant because the contribution of the muslims early were here and so we are part of america, part of the fabric and this is the proof. in 1856 i think it was named as a state, but muslim came like 30 years later and they came syria, which is also theyon, both came and cedar rapids,
iowa, and other places christianere was arabs prior to the muslim arabs who came. neighbors in lebanon and they knew that they are in north america, iowa. so they start coming, and they start gathering each otherelping on the farms, but their children went to school and educated, not the first generation. farming,ame commerce, until they stand up on their feet. full cooperation. it was full welcoming, supporting, encouraging. and giving them a chance to them.ike in the early 1900s, the christian community were and well number
off financially so they start thinking about church and that's like st. george, orthodox church. arab muslims helped the christian arab to church and they raised funds for the church. when in the late '20s, the tolim community decided build the mosque, which they called it at that time, a nadi. a nadi means like a club, a network. the arab christian also came them to bake and to sell to the neighbors and is how thelly mother mosque was built with love, cooperation, between the arab muslim and the arab christian, and the community at large. inthey built this mosque
1932, 34. public.pen to the it was hosting between 60, max 80 people in the mosque. world war ii, the mosque was really, really the because of immigrants, came from germany at that time, bosnians and some asian and in the '60s, pakistani and india and the others to come, so the need for a large, bigger, newer mosque was felt. was used forit 40 years. years until they build a neuromosque and they moved theynd unfortunately, sold the mosque here. people built the building and they built a teenage club. where a teenage club
kids come and play, you frisbee and ping-pong and other things and it did not last. so it was sold again and cambodianfor refugees, they use it as a center. and then it was sold again, rented byt become pentecostal. when i visited in 1983 this building, it was a church. in 1990, i did receive a phone call from my the imam andas director of the islamic of cedar rapids. a lady was complaining that we're not taking care of the the weeds,use of and it's falling apart. assist theo situation and indeed, i saw it falling apart.
owner.ook for the we make a deal to buy the building back. and they start campaigning for renovation of the mosque. by 1992, february 15, open the mosque as a cultural center. we talk about harassment and when we talk andt discrimination when we talk about pressuring muslims in america, we will say we do this happening. we hear about it in other communities, but not the mosque. the mother mosque is part of iowa.bric of it's part of them. and that's why they called it america's first mosque and it is a history and it something they cherish.
the mosque never has been under attack. harassed oren discriminated against. the big thing that happened in september 11, shook thent that nation, the mother mosque was receiving flowers on the steps of the mosque, they were receiving letters of messages came from our neighbors. we know you. we know you are not like them. we know that this is not the portrayinge islam and muslims. relief really. besides the community of isar rapids, whether it the government, whether it's the mayor of cedar rapids, the polices station in cedar rapids, the mosque,tect rapids.t of cedar
it is their entity, their their legacy. there is hate in some of the american population but didk god that that hate not extend to their mother, theirir entity, to heritage, because this mosque is american. ground upfrom the as they say. we consider ourselves part american -- part of the fabric. >> i'm standing in the african-american history museum of iowa, where up they feature their "driven by hope" exhibit. >> the african-american museum of iowa was built 15 years ago and the purpose of the museum was to fill in the gaps the traditional education was not providing
iowa.n there is african-american contribution, achievement in authentically shared stories that weren't a part of our regular system.nal ironically, some of the founders of the museum were from iowa and when they arrived here and began to work and spend time here, wondered about african-american history and contribution in iowa and decided to do a little digging to find out if there there toh out warrant a museum and once they did do that, they found was quite a bit of african-american history in iowa and that was kind of the start of the museum. >> the driven by hope exhibit is our newest and what exhibit we wanted to do was focus on migration,rican not just throughout the nation after the civil war, but specifically to iowa. iss map of iowa depicting the african-american population theach iowa county for year of 1870 which was one censuses toest
actually be able to record african-american population see by the map started. community it's very heavy, first of all, along the southern border because this is -- we're above missouri and as when back as african-americans were enslaved, there were underground railroad routes took you right up into iowa so you have some heavily populated areas starting running all across bottom. another way migrants came iowa was the mississippi river which borders our state on the right. we were the first free state to from the south, if you were traveling up the mississippi. often anybody who was migrating which typically young african-american males, the idea was they would come north, get a job,
secure some funding, send it back home with the hopes, too, that then their family up with them. they ultimately were trying their way as far north, canada was a very go.lar place to oftentimes, they would get off on the rafts, on the ships. would work the steamboats and they would stop somewhere. enoughdn't have money to get further north up into canada. stop, do some work, they would find african-american communities along the river and they would decide to stay. when african-americans got settled into some of these already established communities. they found most employment farmhands, barbers, laundresses, domestic servants. a big shift occurs when the
gain ins popularity, which is about middle 1800s, which is whole country and as the railroads started moving west, iowa was not out and they were basically the gateway to the west. railroad were being fast and furiously. now to run the railroads, they were steam engines, required coal. another big push, big in iowa was coal mining. oftentimes, the actual mines contract with a particular railroad company and they would supply coal just to that railroad company. now, the african-americans that came to work on the work ins and to mining were brought here as strike breakers. so the coal mining companies, the railroad companies, would actually the southiters to
to find able-bodied men willing to come up, they here, theyway up gave them stories of jobs aplenty and, you know, potential to earn, a lot of them didn't know they were strike breakers when they came up and when they came and found more often than a hostile environment, they were taking away the jobs from those who were unionize, trying to get more equal pay, pay so a lot of hostilities occurred with that. in iowa exception is the coal mining town of ton. out as therted rest, strike breakers coming up. company which was consolidation coal company itsa bit unique in practices in that when the strikes had ended, they theally would employ
strike breakers which typically was not done. given training. they were given places to live while they learned the trade if they didn't know it. they didn't always choose experienced miners to come. this employment then allowed letters home to bring their families, to tell their friends hey, there's work here, come here, there's land, there's work. the town just grew and grew and grew. what else was unique about ton was that the company notear as we know did discriminate, equal pay for everyone. they allowed black-owned businesses to thrive. so you have this burgeoning black middle class. very prosperous time and a prosperous place to live.
short-lived span of history. is about 1900 and it was in a severe decline by 1927 so we're only talking about a few decades. surge ofxt african-american migrants to iowa was in the illinois strike thatroad happened in waterloo, iowa, 1911. it's the same type of thing as with the mining. want toany did not allow unions. they did not want to deal wages.ir so again, they brought up strike breakers from the workedactually that the same line in mississippi, they brought by train to be waterloo.akers in this did go over very well citizens of waterloo who are very much behind the striking workers
and it was very difficult when the strike breakers arrived. were not wanted. them. would rent to they had no money to buy homes. so what the railroad company did was actually set up a box car community. and single families, sets of sets of families all shared one box car. the hostilities of the waterloo,ing in they were looking at a fewlation that had very african-americans, about 30 spane time, and in the of a few months, you're looking at 400. mass was kind of a exodus in their eyes and a takeover of their town in eyes.
they were really, really ostracized for being there. and so the area that the boxcars were set up were tracks and the it was dubbed smoky row. the press at the time kind equated it with a devil's forkind of area, known prostitution and gambling whenhat kind of thing all of those entertainments owned by the white population. picturepainted a areanfortunately, that has not -- has had issues ever since in one way or another. there's still difficulties waterloo to this day. a -- the highest african-american population in the state, and there's still issues to be worked out there, but it's -- it
does stem back this far to when the first large group had come up. so something to keep in mind of thisall fluctuation of isican-americans to iowa occurring decades before the great migration, which is people'sliar in minds. of peoplety coming through during the great migration, the peak years of 1916 to 1918 and the was 1911.trike buxton is late 1800s. there's a lot going on here before we have the mass exodus and people are coming to more urban areas in the northeast especially, but they're also making their way quite a bit through chicago and they're still coming through iowa. often iowa had been a
second or third migration. thee that had come to big cities, well, they're coming from more rural areas. coming from farms, not all but most or smaller urban centers. and they find that the larger cities are just opportunities that they were expecting to find just aren't there and a they make a second or third migration to a new state like iowa, where you can get -- you can purchase a piece of land. you can work on someone's farms. the cities are a lot smaller, a lot more manageable for people. , manyworld war i african-american troops felt and hoped that things would be different. they were fighting the war whiteheir counterparts. there was some equality there, they figured things are going to be different, are going tos be better.
ofl, the opposite kind winds up being true. really --year of to 1921, national news of race riots in chicago and tulsa. white workers feeling that african-americans are take theirto jobs. in iowa, as possibly in states, where you had the rural railroad working farming and the , there's a shift into the urban areas. the railroads are in decline. closing up.e shift, ase this you can see in the map, to areas.dustrial waterloo now has jumped up
and 1930 to almost 1,200 african-americans. areaave cedar rapids in the 700s. a large movement into the urban areas. is butting up against comingn immigrants to work. up against other whites coming back from war so there's a lot of tension. the rise of the ku klux klan which was in iowa many other states. the '20s was the largest decade for them. they actually had recruits andg through the states recruiting people to join the klan. newspapers in iowa. it was probably about a decade. did hold some power positions in government, but
was short lived. so part of the people, the population that was moving centers urban included buxton that i had spoken about previously. the coal mining town was in a decline by 1927. there were actually that came from the meat packing plants in them rapids to bring to cedar rapids. outhere was an exodus of that area. cedar rapids was one urban to.er that they came now, those that had grown up ton, those that had known buxton, were very dismayed of how life was like for an african-american to live in one of these urban centers. they no longer had control
job.their they were given the most unskilled, hardest, difficult, extreme heat, extreme cold type of jobs white workers didn't want to have. they were considered unskilled. theydn't matter if actually did have skills. it did not -- it was not a factor. and the realization that okay, not every place is like buxton, there isn't pay. to realize that not every ande was like buxton that it truly was hard living and that racial disparity was just so rampant. i think that it's important to share african-american history because black historyis iowa's and people are interested in learning more. ourant that for children. oftentimes, we have field trips where the students hearthrough and we'll
later on that their parents come through and they tell us that they came because told themdren about the african-american museum and what they learned here so children are really galvanizingof adults to come in, and i think the current climate is, of course, creating an interest for people to come in and learn more about our shared history. >> c-span cities tour sincere rapids iowa, the american story. up next, we visit the mother learn of america, to about the origins of the quran. quran is the last testament if there is such a thing, old testament, new testament. thatthe quran in language will be the last testament, the final god toion from humanity.
received ad, he message from god, this message is called quran, like a recitation, because mohammed was not writing.r so it was dictated to him through the angel gabriel. we say that the quran is direct,l comprehensive message that gave to mohammed through the angel gabriel. the muslims, whether they or shiite, they thethe quran and it's same. you will not find another or theith shia sunni, it's the same. not like our neighbors that have catholic bible, but have a protestant, 66 but 73 in the other. findhat's why you will
the exact quran all around the world, no other addition, no other thing about the quran. it's unique. quran came through 23 years. 13 years in the city of years in the madina. so the 13 years after inration, the 10 years madina. wasso 23 years, it portioned, it was shared as small here and there, and ing toet was dictat his companions, they write it down and they memorize it. quran is one single book. volume.n is one it has 114 chapters. the smallest chapter could
just three verses, like words. that's all. language.n arabic and it remains like that that was the book that mohammed used to prove prophethood. no other translation is considered to be correct. any language, english. over 30 translations in english, but none of them is quran. the the translation of meaning of the quran, but the quran that we use is in arabic language and we are a universal don't belonge to arabs, or to america or others. we belong to all. in fact, the arabs are a muslimy in the world. they are only 20% of the
muslim population. therefore, anyone who wants to become an imam, wants to a leader for a muslim group, then he needs to arabic and he needs to recite the quran accurately, the way it was revealed to mohammed. spellingomes to names and the quran or the god, you will see occupation,he there has been a shift of meanings. french, theyhe did alter the names. islam, muslim. us,this is offensive to but the correct benunciation will is-lam, mus-lem. and then quran they spell it with a k. right not the spelling. it should be with a q.,
quran. and that is how we spell the word quran. quran isge of the text. as a but each community comes, they develop some kind of an ideology that fit their their, your know, hopes, so they squeeze quran to fit their agenda. like inay recently the early '80s, there was on afghanistan from russia. the cia and other entities came and developed something called isis. i mean not isis, al-qaeda. al-qaeda. isis came later. so these people were trained were given and
money and some scholars from, you know, saudi arabia, from other areas, quranicqueeze the suitablemake it as for them to do jihad, against the non-believers, especially atheis -- yes, there aboutrses that spoke fighting, especially during whom hehet time, had enemies, especially in quranab world and the tell them, you know, if they them back.fight over.at was that has been there and it history,ng about but the quran speaks about humanity, peace, humility,
be humble, to extend your hand in harmony to your on.hbors and so but those verses came in the context of history, for those arabs who have been the muslims and there's a bloody history there. it's like vietnam war. commander is telling the troops to kill the vietnamese, for example, over.'s now, we read that this command was given and here is the letter. and it's not any more today.ble so therefore, we need to be the meaning of the quran. there is not one verse in youquran that says that must kill the jews or kill christians.
i have been an imam for almost 40 years and i never read a verse in the quran saying that you should kill or christians. and if someone can prove me will tell him or debate.ave a the people in the streets, they want islam back. want islam of justice, islam of love, islam of come back. and that's basically what is from the quran. is about a fourth of the state of iowa. it touches minnesota, illinois, and wisconsin and it's about the northeastern part of the state. grew up here and the folks that are here are people just like my family, who grew up with the idea that if you work hard, you can make a good living and your
than youdo better and that idea and that work driven usly has from the beginning. iowa 1, you've got rurallture in our areas, and then you also have a lot of manufacturing, as well. john deere, we've got general mills and a of obviously other businesses as well, but it's really agriculture and manufacturing which are handtimes just hand in together, specifically in iowa 1. doing farmers aren't well, they're not buying new tractors. chairwoman of a small business subcommittee that is rural development, agriculture, trade and so now,neurship and my job as a chairwoman i literally get to bring the voices of iowans to surengton and make they're heard. but again, that is always going to be one of the is againtruggles making sure iowans are heard through all of the different opinions and voices throughout the country. >> the cedar river runs through downtown cedar
rapids. it's named after the red cedar tree, which is native to the region. hall sits on an island in the middle of the cedar river. up next we speak with a political reporter about the 2020 presidential campaign thewhat's new for upcoming iowa caucuses. >> because as much as my story has all been about new jersey, the reality is my roots are right here in des moines. >> i've learned very quickly in this state take the early state status that you have very seriously and show up with curve balls and really smart and questions. >> the direction we go will in part be set right here in iowa. >> what happens here in iowa and what you democrats do will not only affect this county and this beautiful state; it will affect our nation. >> caucus season is under way. it seems like we're almost a
than aay, it's less year away, but it's already amy, this weekend, the state,s in delaney, but it's ramping up quite quickly. >> hello! >> the nomination process involves both primaries and caucuses across the country really different animals and so i think the because it is that proving ground for candidates. the february 3rd2020 is date.heduled that could move depending on what other states do. moved in the past as other states have tried to move their primaries, their caucuses forward. by february 3rd, 2020, is date now.led and, you know, some people say it's sort of a fluke
off this leads process, that the caucuses were around, but nobody took until 1972f them when mcgovern figured out can use this system to our advantage. in iowa, here mcgovern was from next door in south dakota and seized on this, and part of it was these would start early, people would take care of the usual sort of party peoples, a lot of would leave and they encouraged a lot of mcgovern supporters to end and thene they elected delegates and they elected george mcgovern delegates instead of delegates for other since thenand people saw what happened and how it worked, paid off for them and so everybody has to replicate that in one way or another. one of the starts to the campaign or to the coverage is the iowa state fair, whether it's an election
year or not. you kind of look for who's coming to the fair? who shows up, and then you look at the democratic and republican party events, their big events, lincoln day dinners, jefferson dinners those sorts of things who are the speakers, who's showing up for those sorts of things get an idea of who's checking out iowa and checking out iowa voters. in this cycle it's mostly democrats, obviously, since we don't expect anybody to present a serious challenge to the president, but you look at who's coming, who shows up now, last fall with the 2018 election, who is up to campaign for congressional candidates, who is showing up to legislative candidates? and so we saw a number of people come out here and say we always suspect they're not doing it just altruistic reasons. the caucuses have changed mcgovern's time to today. the campaigning was
kind of intimate, living shop sort of campaigning today where a candidate will do a house party. some of that i think is for optics because it looks good. but the crowds have gotten much bigger. the 2016 cycle it was rallies.ch all i mean, 500 people at a rally. so it's really changed in that regard. i think one thing that's important to know about the that all the cliches about iowans kicking the tires and looking under cliches aree true. iowans get up close and personal with these candidates. they ask them questions. they look them in the eye. half of that is it gives candidates the opportunity to get up close with realal voters who ask them real questions, not necessarily are instions that the headlines, in the newspaper and on tv. sometimes, you get some
that i've seen candidates who are totally unprepared for a question. sure noi'm political consultant told john edwards you're going to be asked questions about canadian pork imports and whether or not those hogs pass the same test scours as american-produced hogs. you get these questions people have an issue on their mind and they really want to ask it even if it's not important to else.y >> at this point, you know, roughly a year out, the i'muses, a lot of what looking for is what theme a getidate is trying to across in their speeches, when they're at a rally. also, the reaction from voters. iowans won't commit to a candidate until they've seen them four or five times and at this point, democrats are going see all the candidates and they're comparing them.
last weekend i was at an elizabeth warren rally and talking to people and they had just been to another rally a couple of weeks earlier. out,ey're checking everybody. and so i'm looking for that reaction. like? they what strengths do they see in a candidate? they may say elizabeth warren is very strong on the financial issues. economic inequality, while someone else is stronger on national security or immigration and the voters are sorting, they're comparing. >> on day 1, if you have a democratic house and a democratic senate what can controln gun through congress? >> there's a lot to talk new deal,he green i wanted to get your perspective on what that means to you and what your vision is. are going to get the usual questions, healthcare, immigration, you
border, national guns,ty, terrorism, and i think it's not only answer,ent of the but also sort of how they handle it. are they comfortable talking it?t do they make themselves clear? of -- wheret are they on the spectrum of the answer? are they to the left, to the right? they somewhere sort of in a common sense middle? way're not too far one or another? cycle, i think there's a lot of appetite for hearing progressive progressive answers. iowa democrats seem to be looking for that. questionslot of about medicare for all, for example. sort of searching for those progressive answers and candidates.om >> obviously, democrats are looking for somebody who can win, who can beat donald
frequent that's a question. how are you going to beat donald trump? it's probably not the number question that you're going to hear most often, but a lot of people are asking that. it about you that can beat donald trump? the iowa caucuses haven't been great at selecting the next president. in 2016, ted cruz won the caucuses. donald trump was very close behind. hillary clinton won the caucuses, bernie sanders was less than a behind her. rick santorum, john wonin, mitt romney republican primaries. barack obama won the so youtic caucus know, sometimes, it works out, sometimes, it doesn't. it seems that the caucuses perhaps their best or highest function is field, sorte of. if you can't make it here, you're probably not going to make it somewhere else. and we talk about three
iowa, the top three finishers in the on, that'sn move not always the case. but it's kind of a good rule of thumb that if you don't finish strong in iowa, not going toly be able to maintain a campaign, a winning campaign. winning iowa doesn't necessarily mean -- rick santorum didn't go on to get the nomination. you know, ted cruz did not go on to get the nomination so winning in iowa isn't a guarantee of getting your nomination, but it's a sign of organizational putngth that you can together a campaign that delivers people to the sameses, almost in the way that you're going to have to deliver people to voting booths. that's a good test in way. >> that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the
environment and provides for all.e >> my name is charlie and tonight, i'm here to vote rick santorum, a faithful husband, a home to sevendad children and a former u.s. pennsylvania. >> at a caucus, it starts out sort of like a meeting, in, usually, they have a temporary chair order andthing to they elect a permanent chair, and it's usually that person. becomescky person the permanent chair and aen, you know, there's difference between the republican caucuses and democratic. republicans basically have a straw poll. they pass out ballots, you can happenhey very quickly. people will cast their ballot and go home, they're of interested in sort the party organizing part of it. caucus,emocratic there's a lot more to it. they form preference groups and a candidate has to have
15% of those present to be viable and if viable then they can reform preference groups, if you're in a group is notandidate who viable you can join another group and it used to be that try and convince people in a viable group to come over to your side so thehad enough for elected group, but i think the democrats have changed notrules so they're you have tothat. be registered as a democrat -- yeah,blican it's the people who want to participate. i would not expect huge numbers on the republican participation on the democratic side will be very high. exceedibly could
2016. you know, we'll see possibly a couple hundred thousand democrats showing up at their caucuses. big you know, with a field of candidates, that would make sense. if everybody brings along a few thousand supporters, a thousands of supporters, yeah. be.ill i think anticipation right now is that it's going to be massive turnout. physically be at participate. although in 2020, the iowa democratic party is going to toe six virtual caucuses make the caucuses more accessible, to shift withrs, people disabilities who might have trouble getting out. who might not be able to get to a caucus in the evening so they're trying to make it more accessible. my understanding is the virtual caucus will -- you
will log on to a website, secure website, and then the democratic party says it just like a physical caucus will. there will be a temporary chair, there will be a chair.nt they'll go through the process of forming groups, if you're a corey booker support or an elizabeth warren supporter. preferenceo groups. and they'll measure strength of candidates that way and that's going to be really interesting to watch how caucuses can account for up to 10% of the delegates selected in the caucuses. plays out, how many people participate and how the campaigns try to take advantage of that. the criticism of the for years have been i was too old, too white, too liberal, and i think all
those things probably hold true again this cycle. that criticism. wellounterargument is you know, it is what it is. it's first so it gets a lot of attention. first as remain long as there's an honest process. as thea key as long party nationally thinks the candidates are getting a shake herenest and candidates are willing to come here. i mean, it's party rules. the -- the parties set the calendar. part of this i think quite tradition, but, you know, we've seen the parties add south carolina and nevada, as now there are four early states. there's always talk about go first? iowa why should new hampshire be first? shouldn't the states be more
nationntative of the as a whole? looking for more voters of color, more hispanic voters. urban voters. as -- and i think as long as iowa can do it, one of the things that's overlooked is anybody can be first, takes ao it well lot of work, for the state parties. there's a lot of work for of what makes iowa caucuses successful is that there are a lot of iowans who have been through this, who understand the caucus process, who understand what campaigns and candidates need to be here and to run successful campaigns. there's a lot of sort of underlying infrastructure makes iowa, the iowa caucuses successful. and if you just move that to the next state four years from now, they wouldn't know where to start.
the top finishers in iowa, i don't want to call it a seal of approval, but it is sort of somebody has recommended them in a way that you would look for a recommendation for somebody hiring for a job. in iowa we talk about field, sorting the wheat from the chaff, whatever you want to call narrow it does help the focus, especially 2016, had 17, 18 republicans running. this year who knows how many running? will be and it helps narrow the field and that's why it's so finish well, to get one of those three tickets out of iowa. >> our cities tour staff recently traveled to cedar learn about, to its rich history. learn more about cedar rapids and other stops on our tour at c-span.org/citiestour.
americantching history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> next, former nasa chief roger launius spaceabout the apollo program. he describes how the cold war influenced the first missions and the excitement inr the moon landing 1969. explores apollo's legacy and speculates on the future of space travel. this 15-minute interview at the annual american historical association meeting in chicago. >> roger launius, the former chief historian for nasa. let's talk about the apollo to beginnd i want in the 1950s because that really is the extorting point to where we were in '70s.0s and explain. >> well, one of the things that's important to understand is it's hard to it for those who didn't live through it, but this cold war rivalry between the